Wednesday June 20, 2018

NBC announced its fall premiere dates.

Yellowstone premieres tonight on Paramount Network.  More below.

The season 2 finale of Brockmire airs tonight.

Mindy Kaling will guest-star on the upcoming season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. No character details have been revealed yet.

HBO's Courtside At The NBA FInals is a great watch if you're an NBA fan.

Here are this year's ESPY nominees.  No one actually cares about this, do they?

Alison Brie can do 40 pull-ups?

Please do not reboot The Nanny.

The Walt Disney Company has boosted its bid for the studio and cable network assets of 21st Century Fox to $71.3 billion in cash and stock.

How big of a ratings draw is Chris Hardwick really?

"Justin Prentice may be cast as the ruthless villain of 13 Reasons Why, but he, too, had to cope with mental health challenges when younger, including thoughts of suicide, the actor told Variety at the Monte Carlo TV Festival on Tuesday. As Prentice gets ready to film Season 3 of the hit Netflix show, he talked about the impact the first two seasons have had, and his debut feature film as a producer."

JoJo Fletcher has a new clothing line.  Just what the world needs.

"The Walking Dead co-creator Robert Kirkman landed a big development deal with Amazon Studios last year. Now, Amazon is ordering an adaptation of Kirkman’s other signature comic book series: Invincible. Amazon has lined up Invincible as an one-hour animated drama series with eight episodes for its first season. Teen Titans veteran Simon Racioppa will be the showrunner of the Invincible animated series, and Catherine Winder (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) will executive produce it alongside Kirkman and Racioppa. The Invincible comic book was created by Kirkman and artist Cory Walker in 2003, but Ryan Ottley provided the art for most of the series’ 144 issues. Invincible‘s final issue was released earlier in 2018."

"Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul’s Giancarlo Esposito is set for a lead role opposite star Carla Gugino in Cinemax’s straight-to-series drama Jett, from Gothika scribe Sebastian Gutierrez. Also cast as series regulars are Elena Anaya, Michael Aronov, Gaite Jansen, Chris Backus, Gil Bellows and Violet McGraw. Jodie Turner-Smith, Gentry White, Lucy Walters and Mustafa Shakir are set for recurring roles. Esposito, who has a one-year deal on Jett, is coming off a two-season series regular turn on Better Call Saul, reprising his popular Breaking Bad character of Gustavo “Gus” Fring. That includes Season 3 and the upcoming fourth season, debuting Aug. 9, which already has been shot. I hear that while Esposito has has no deal in place beyond that, he could return to the AMC series should it get renewed for a fifth season, with the production schedule of Jett allowing for that."

"Saturday Night Live alumna Kristen Wiig has departed Apple’s upcoming comedy series, which she was attached to star in and executive produce, because of a scheduling conflict with Wonder Woman. The untitled half-hour project, inspired by Curtis Sittenfeld's short story collection You Think It, I'll Say It, is currently on hold as Apple and the producers evaluate their options, including proceeding with a different actress."

Heads are going to roll over at what was TimeWarner.

Ditto for Scripps.  I hear those cuts are coming early next month, if not sooner, and upwards of 300 people could lose their jobs.

IVHQR6OH2JAU7LTX5QJQNPWJ4Y.jpg

Per Deadline, "Apple has picked up to series Little America, a half-hour anthology series from Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, the Oscar-nominated writers of indie hit The Big Sick, SMILF executive producer Lee Eisenberg, Master of None co-creator/executive producer Alan Yang and Universal Television.

"Written by Eisenberg, who will serve as showrunner, Nanjiani and Gordon, Little America is inspired by the true stories featured in Epic Magazine and described on the site as “a small, collective portrait of America’s immigrants — and thereby a portrait of America itself.” The TV series will go beyond the headlines to look at the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and unexpected lives of immigrants in America, at a time when their stories are more relevant than ever.

"Nanjiani and Yang executive produce alongside Eisenberg and Gordon. Joshuah Bearman and Joshua Davis will executive produce for Epic Magazine; Arthur Spector will co-executive produce. Uni TV, where Yang is under an overall deal, is the studio.

"Apple originally took in the project in February to develop for straight-to-series consideration. It is the second show developed at Apple under that model to go to series, joining drama Are You Sleeping starring Octavia Spencer.

"Little America joins Apple’s other upcoming series,  three from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine: a morning-show drama starring Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, Are You Sleeping starring Octavia Spencer, and a comedy toplined by Kristen Wiig."

ronnie-ortiz-magro-the-situation-pauly-d-vinny-guadagnino.jpg

From Vulture: "Blood is thicker than water, but neither compares to a good marinara. On a recent Wednesday afternoon, Jersey Shore Family Vacationstars Vinny Guadagnino, Pauly DelVecchio, Nicole Polizzi, Mike Sorrentino, Jenni Farley, and Deena Cortese gathered in the Staten Island home of Guadagnino’s aunt Mariann for a decadent meal prepared by his mother, Paola.

"There was a sense of reverence to the proceedings, not just because of the holy-water font mounted by the front door, nor Aunt Mariann’s granddaughter arriving home in her Catholic-school uniform, nor even the reproduction of Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam hanging beside the china closet. This is, after all, the time-honored Jersey Shore tradition that is Sunday family dinner — in this case lunch, on a weekday — wherein sprinkling plain-old parm on your pasta instead of toasted ricotta will result in your public scolding, and even so much as looking at a bottle of ketchup constitutes a mortal sin. 'Italians can’t have ketchup,' Guadagnino explained. (Cortese, who requested the ketchup in the first place, dissented.)

"The iconic MTV reality series Jersey Shore aired six rambunctious seasons between 2009 and 2012, most of them set in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, the natural habitat of East Coast guidos and guidettes come summertime. Relocating the cast to a waterfront estate in Miami, Jersey Shore Family Vacation premiered in close to 180countries this April to record-breaking ratings. More impressively, the Emmy-contending reality series has managed to recapture what made the original irresistible: the frequently ridiculous, undeniably flawed, but deeply felt friendships among its cast.

"Aunt Mariann’s dining-room table was laden with an intimidatingly sumptuous spread of olives, cheese, salami, and crusty bread before the meal properly began. DJ Pauly D’s diamond-encrusted watch sparkled in the afternoon sunlight, outshone only by his trademark, meticulously gelled blowout. The cast had declared a universal cheat day in honor of family lunch — even newly svelte Guadagnino, the self-styled Keto Guido. 'I’m trying to go to the gym when I get home,' Polizzi said, pouring a glass of Cabernet. 'It’s fine. A wine a day.'

"Guadagnino panned over the 'surreal' lunchtime scene in a video he’d upload to his Instagram Story. “I’ve been eating at this table my whole life, and now I got JWoww sitting next to me. Deena, Snookers, Pauly, Mike. Everyone here. So weird,” he said. On the show, those nicknames (indelible as a tribal tattoo, as far as the rest of the world is concerned) have been effectively retired: Jenni is no longer known as JWoww, and Nicole is no longer Snooki, let alone Snookers. Barely old enough to order a tequila shot when the Jersey Shore premiered, Polizzi and Guadagnino will turn 31 this fall. Since we last watched them fist-pump at Karma and pick fights on the Seaside boardwalk, Polizzi, Farley, and Cortese have gotten married; Polizzi, Farley, DelVecchio, and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro are now parents. But the more things change, the more they stay the same.

“'The whole "What do they have to offer now?" thing — I’m like, "I don’t know, we’re No. 1 on Thursday nights. You tell us,”' Farley said of Family Vacation’s skeptics.

"Jersey Shore may have technically returned, but in many ways, it never left. The pop-cultural phenomenon counts several spinoffs and eight international versions (not including domestic newcomer Floribama Shore), parodies by South Park and just about every talk show imaginable, and memes spawned years after it went off the air. Jenni proudly cited a joke that referenced her and Pauly on Orange Is the New Black; Polizzi fondly recalled playing herself (well, herself as possessed by a demon) on Supernatural. 'Vampire Diaries mentioned us twice,' said Cortese, who, for the record, really loves vampires.

“'Did you ever see [Jenni] on One Life to Live?' Polizzi asked. 'Do you want to see it?' The only possible answer to that second question is yes, so I was immediately passed someone’s phone, open to a screenshot of Jenni kissing her soap-opera co-star. 'She wasn’t supposed to use the tongue, but she put the tongue in,' Polizzi said, with a sisterly matter-of-factness. 'Her name was Nikki and she was a slutty bartender.'

"Aunt Mariann’s red sauce is a little sweet — that is, good sweet — thanks to the stealthy addition of brown sugar. 'Fire. This pasta is fire,' Sorrentino said, already on his second bowl of campanelle. 'I’m trying to save room for the next course.' While his roommates lubricated their stay in Miami with Ron-Ron Juice and bottle-service vodka, the artist formerly known (okay, still known) as the Situation — now 28 months sober and exuding a contemplative calm, despite having recently pleaded guilty to tax evasion in federal court — indulged instead in Doritos and Funfetti. 'They were doing their own thing, and I was enjoying the food. Just living my best life,' he recalled. 'He would order for, like, 50 people,' Polizzi said.

"Family Vacation is happily devoid of the smudged-name-tag awkwardness of a high school or college reunion. The cast credits their closeness in part to a group chat that began a year before. 'In the past, when we were done filming, we would run in eight different directions,' Guadagnino said. 'This time, we were like, "Give us our phones back so we can go in our group chat and say what we really want to say, now that we’re not mic’ed."'

"The group chat is aptly titled 'Just Us We Famous Fam' — at least, it is for now. The more people who know the name, the more they feel like changing it. The castmates have other ongoing text threads, too, some of which include reps for MTV and are labeled accordingly, as a warning. But the Holy Grail group chat beeps and vibrates with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of messages a day. 'I’m always the first one to fall asleep, and I wake up 300 [messages] later,' Farley said. Guadagnino surveyed the table: 'Does everybody have their notifications off? Everyone, right?'

“'What does that mean?' Polizzi asked.

“'Your phone doesn’t ding every time,' he explained.

“'Oh my God, yeah,' she said. 'My phone’s always on silent. I would freak out.'

"The most frequently used emoji in the group text is the fax machine — as in, facts. 'We’re like lightning with the GIFs. We’re like fucking GIF masters,' Guadagnino said. 'GIFs of themselves,' Cortese clarified, crucially. Polizzi in particular likes to deploy her drunk hair flip seen in the original series, which she expertly reenacted.

"Old-school Jersey Shore GIFs remain timelessly relatable, but Family Vacation introduces its share of new themes, like 'mom guilt.' Polizzi and Farley grapple with both the 'stigma' surrounding mothers who let loose and the stress of being apart from their kids. Polizzi said she 'probably' wouldn’t participate in season two — which was green-lit more than a month ahead of the series premiere, and recently began filming in Las Vegas — unless the 24-hour shooting schedule is rearranged to be part-time, so that she can spend more time with her children. (She, Farley, and Cortese left the Family Vacation set during season one for a brief visit to their families.)

“'I was off my schedule. I’m used to waking up at seven, dropping my kids off at school, cleaning the house,' said Polizzi of her time in Miami. 'I had no responsibilities, so I lost myself a little bit.' Stripped of their phones and computers during production, the gang was equipped with a tablet to FaceTime with their loved ones, but video chat did little to alleviate separation anxiety. 'My daughter would cry and be like, "Come home." It made it harder,' Polizzi said. Cortese and her husband, Chris, hope to start a family soon; Polizzi and her husband, Jionni, are planning to try for a third child as soon as this summer. Both women said they wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to filming Family Vacation while pregnant, as Polizzi did during Jersey Shore’s final season.

“'We live in such a filtered world,' Farley said. 'I want our kids to be proud, and whoever watches our show, to be proud of us for being authentic.'

“'What do you mean?' Guadagnino interrupted. 'You’re in hair and makeup everyday.'

"She ignored him, pressing on. 'To know that it’s okay to not be liked. To truly just love who you are and be okay with that. Whenever someone’s like, "Why would you do this? You have kids," I’m like, "This is exactly why I’m doing it.”'

“'I think that’s the most shocking part for people,' Guadagnino said. 'When you actually watch us, you’re like, Oh, I relate to them. They’re real people, who have real things going on in their lives.'

"Out from Aunt Mariann’s kitchen came fried chicken cutlets, arugula salad (tagging in for romaine), and a truly enormous bowl of mashed potatoes with the heft of a spackle bucket. 'I’m about to unbutton my jeans,' said Polizzi. 'I don’t know about all of you guys, but I’m sweating,' Sorrentino announced. 'Chicken cutlet sweats,' Guadagnino clarified.

"The only Family Vacation cast member missing was Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, whose on-again, off-again, on-again relationship with girlfriend Jen Harley — the mother of his newborn daughter, Ariana — has become tabloid fodder. 'What he has going on right now, I want to respect him and his family and not really speak on his behalf at all,' said DelVecchio. 'We’re still one big, happy, dysfunctional family,' added Farley. (In early June, a few weeks after this meal, police were called because Harley reportedly assaulted Ortiz-Magro in Las Vegas.) That big, happy, dysfunctional family still includes Sammi 'Sweetheart' Giancola, whose on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again relationship with Ortiz-Magro was a central plotline of the original series, and who declined to appear on Family Vacation. Giancola’s presence is nevertheless felt on the show, in the form of a sex doll created (sort of) in her image — a doll that is, in fact, anatomically correct. 'She has a vagina and a hole. She has a … what’s the right way to say it? Clitoris,' Polizzi reported.

"With the meal at Aunt Mariann’s winding down, it was hard to imagine eating any more food, ever again, when a platter of bakery sweets (cannoli, millefoglie, cream puffs) appeared and was promptly devoured. 'Wheel me into the car,' said DelVecchio.

"Soon after Vinny’s Uncle Joe served cold espresso in miniature red plastic cups, the cast said their good-byes to their chosen family — chosen in this case by a casting team, but family nonetheless. 'I used to not want to film because it was tough mentally,' Guadagnino said. 'I’d call home when I felt upset. Now I’m like, I’ll just call Pauly. I’ll go wake up Jenni. I used to go to the producers when there was a problem. Now I’m like, fuck the producers, we’re going to each other.'

"Until next season, wherever that may take them, they’ll have their group chat. But in the meantime, they won’t pass up the opportunity to troll one another in person. 'Does anybody know Jenni’s code to her phone?' asked DelVecchio when Farley got up to use the bathroom. He managed to unlock it, leaving a series of mugging selfies with Guadagnino on the camera roll. What else is family for?"

the-resident-season-1-fox.jpg

Per TVLine, "[t]he revolving door at Chastain Park Memorial is getting a workout this summer. TVLine has confirmed that three Resident cast members — Moran Atias (PR chief Renata Morali), Merrin Dungey (ex-CEO Claire Thorpe) and Melina Kanakaredes(incarcerated oncologist Lane Hunter) — will not be back for Season 2. Dungey and Kanakaredes’ exits were foreshadowed on screen at the end of the Fox drama’s rookie season. (Dungey has since segued to ABC’s new legal drama The Fix.) 

"Meanwhile, Frasier vet Jane Leeves is joining the ensemble in the series-regular role of Dr. Kitt Voss, the hospital’s new star orthopedic surgeon. As our sister site Deadline reports, Leeves inked a one-year deal with the show (so don’t get too attached to Voss).

"The news comes just a day after The Resident handed series-regular promotions to Season 1 guest stars Malcolm-Jamal Warner (Dr. AJ Austin) and Glenn Morshower (Marshall Winthrop, dad to Matt Czuchry’s Conrad).

"In addition to Czuchry, returning series regulars include Emily VanCamp (Nic), Manish Dayal (Devon), Bruce Greenwood (Chief Bell) and Shaunette Renée Wilson (Mina).

"Fox has yet to announce a Season 2 premiere date for The Resident, which will now air Mondays at 8/7c leading into rookie hit 9-1-1."

180615-yellowstone.jpg

Per Uproxx, "[i]n the very first scene of Paramount Network’s Yellowstone, rancher John Dutton (Kevin Costner) puts a horse out of its misery by shooting it dead — and then it gets even messier.

"Yellowstone is vaguely intriguing on paper. Taylor Sheridan — who wrote Sicario and Hell or High Water, and was an actor on Sons of Anarchy — serves as creator, writer, and director. It features Kevin Costner in his first regular television series role. It’s also Paramount’s first scripted drama and is tasked with boosting the network after a few disappointments: the mixed bag miniseries Waco, which suffered from shoddy writing; the already-forgettable comedy American Woman; and the truly awful (and fortunately canceled-before-airing) Heathers, which was a mess all its own. (Both comedies, it should be noted, were originally for TV Land.) So that leaves Yellowstone, an “epic” and violent drama about the “largest contiguous cattle ranch in the United States,” to pick up the slack, but it can barely keep itself together long enough to try.

"The pilot — a bloated 90 minutes, which is strike one — struggles to find its footing, throwing multiple characters and plots at the wall without giving any of them room to breathe. (I had to fill in multiple blanks via the network’s press kit.) Costner plays patriarch and rancher John Dutton, who is intent on protecting and keeping control of his ranch as he’s frequently targeted by land developers and by the nearby Native American reservation. Or something. Really, Yellowstone is about complicated family dynamics and terrible fathers. You may have already watched a dozen or so dramas with this same premise.

"The widowed John has four children: right-hand man Lee (Dave Annable) who still lives at home, Kayce (Luke Grimes) who lives with his own family on the Native American reservation, lawyer Jamie (Wes Bentley) who is still desperate for his dad’s approval, and only daughter Beth (Kelly Reilly) who is unfortunately described in the press materials as 'holding together a family of broken men.'

"The Dutton men are indeed broken, to varying degrees and with varying results, but it’s hard to get past their stereotypical character traits and the poor (but unintentionally funny) dialogue that plagues the series. As one character murders another, execution-style, he plainly remarks, 'There’s no such thing as heaven.' In another episode, Beth 'jokes' about Jamie being gay by saying their father won’t like it; he retorts with the mouthful, 'I’m not gay. I’m celibate because I’m terrified to get someone pregnant and pass on the gene that made you.' (Whether or not Jamie is actually gay is anyone’s guess at this point.) Another strange line delivered with the gravity of something much smarter and deeper comes from John: 'All you do with a daughter is just try to keep her from getting screwed. All you do with a son is just try to keep him from screwing himself.' There are moments where it seems Yellowstone started with a list of platitudes and built the plot around that.

"To be fair, throughout the first three episodes sent to critics, Yellowstone isn’t all bad — it’s more messy and confused than anything else. It promotes a solid roster of actors who give it their all, even when their all isn’t quite deserved. Kelly Reilly as Beth is the only one having any fun, even as she’s thrust into bizarre scenes like stripping down in front of Jamie or chugging SoCo out of the bottle while running at wolves. (It’s telling that Beth doesn’t feel like part of Yellowstone, like she instead drunkenly wandered on from another set and decided to stick around.) Yellowstone is also a gorgeous series, shot on location in Utah and Montana, featuring sprawling overhead shots of land and mountains. Some wide shots are so skilled at showcasing the beauty of the West that you almost want to move to the ranch — provided the Dutton family has long vacated.

"Kayce is the most compelling character as he straddles the line between alienating his own family by marrying the Native American (though the show prefers to use “Indian” throughout) Monica (Kelsey Asbille) while also feeling like a white outsider within her family and while on the reservation. Sure, it can feel a little Romeo and Juliet in the West, but the tensions between the white ranchers and the Native Americans (including Gil Birmingham as Thomas Rainwater) provide the series’ best conflicts.

"There is certainly something interesting deep within Yellowstone, and it’s welcoming to see a drama take place out here rather than the usual big cities in New York or California. Unfortunately, the interesting parts are buried underneath the overwrought, hyper-masculine, boring family drama that we’ve already seen a number of times. It’s a strange case because there are soapy elements throughout, but Yellowstone isn’t as self-aware to be as fun as, say, Dynasty. It’s almost enjoyable to watch some of the more ridiculous elements that are sprinkled throughout — wolves, casual meth lab explosions, a standoff between a boy and a snake, and a random discovery of dinosaur fossils — and it’s clear that in another world, Yellowstone could succeed as a true soapy drama. As it stands, it’s just too bogged down by its own self-seriousness."